For years this has been Sheryl's potluck offering. Fresh corn and tiny pasta shells are tossed with red bell pepper and red onion, lots of fresh herbs, and a cider vinaigrette. Make it with the smallest pasta shells you can find because as you stir the salad, something miraculous happens: the corn kernels manage to tuck themselves inside the shells. People will think that you've placed each one there yourself.
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
2 cups tiny pasta shells
8 ears fresh corn, kernels removed from the cobs
(see page 113 of the book)
1/4 cup cider vinegar, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 cup canola oil
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
4 scallions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, and add 1 tablespoon of the salt. Add the pasta shells, and when the water returns to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer for 6 minutes. Add the corn and cook for 2 minutes more, or until the pasta is tender but still has some bite.
Drain in a colander, shaking it to remove the excess moisture. Transfer the shells and corn to a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in the oil in a slow, steady stream, until the dressing emulsifies. Pour the dressing over the warm pasta and stir gently to coat the shells.
Add the bell pepper, onion, scallions, parsley, and oregano. Add more salt and pepper and another splash of vinegar, if you like.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour for the flavors to mellow before serving.
To Remove Corn Kernels from the Cob
Shuck the corn and lay an ear on a cutting board. Hold it firmly in place with one hand. Using a small, sharp knife, cut off several rows of kernels, pulling the knife from the pointed end of the corn to the stalk end. Keep turning the cob until all the kernels have been cut from it. Use the cut kernels within several hours.
The Way We Cook
Recipes from the New American Kitchen
by Sheryl Julian and Julie Riven
Hardcover; 400 pages
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created June 2003
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